With less than a 100 days to go before the November election, President Barack Obama’s campaign — one day before the July jobs report was released — unveiled an advertisement campaign that tries to obliterate Romney instead of building up Obama’s economic record. Obama cannot run on his economic record, as evidenced by Friday’s jobs report, which found that 8.3% of the county is unemployed, a number that has ticked up by .1% the last two months.
Because of these poor job numbers, the tone of the campaign will get nastier as the election nears, because these numbers show the only path Obama has to victory is to tear down Romney.
When Obama took office in January of 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.6%. In July of 2012, the unemployment rate is 8.3%.
If Obama’s numbers are compared to those of other presidents during an election year, one can see why Obama is in peril and his path to victory will be one of destroying Romney.
When Jimmy Carter took office in 1977, the unemployment rate was 7.5%. In July of 1980, it was 7.8%. Carter lost in the fall.
When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was 7.5%. And in July of 1984, that number remained the same at 7.5%. Reagan won 49 states against Mondale, a candidate who promised to raise taxes and imploded, in the fall.
When George H.W. Bush won Reagan’s third term by inheriting his economy and Reagan’s peace dividend, the unemployment rate was 5.4% in January of 1989. In July of 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.7%. Bush would lose to Clinton, whose campaign team famously came up with “It’s the economy, stupid” slogan.
When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the unemployment rate was 4.2%. And in July of 2004, it was 5.5%. Bush barely held on to defeat John Kerry in the fall after his campaign made Kerry an unacceptable alternative.
And while the increase in the unemployment rate under Obama is less than what it had been under both presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Obama’s numbers may put him in more political peril because he over-promised and under-delivered to the American people.
The Obama administration based its stimulus plan on the belief that it would keep unemployment below 8%. That is how they sold it to taxpayers who did not want it. By this point, the stimulus was supposed to have reduced the unemployment rate to under 6%. Neither has happened.
In fact, the unemployment rate has been over 8% for 42 straight months, something not seen since the Great Depression. The economy now has nearly 5 million fewer jobs than when the recession began. The U-6, which is a broader measure of unemployment, is at 15.0%, up from from 14.9% in June.
And for the 12.8 million unemployed, the statistics are even worse. The average duration of unemployment has nearly doubled from 19.8 weeks to 38.8 weeks under Obama. In July, 150,000 dropped out out the labor force. And if the labor force participation rate had remained the same as when Obama first took office, the unemployment rate, according to the American Enterprise Institute, would be 11%. To get unemployment below 8 percent before November, more than 250,000 new jobs would have to be created each month.
And consider these numbers, which highlight why this has been the weakest recovery from a recession in a developed nation since 1970. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Ameriacns receiving food stamps has increased from 31.9 million to 46.2 million since Obama took office. In addition, 49.1% percent of Americans live in a household where at least one member has received some type of government assistance and 97.3 million Americans now qualify as “low-income” and another 49.1 million are in poverty — combined, that accounts for 48% of the population.
This is a record Obama cannot run on. And that is why he — and the mainstream media — will try to obliterate Romney during the next 100 days to try to convince voters that Romney is an unacceptable alternative to Obama.